Nassir settles on ex-journalist Thoya as running mate

Thoya, a former Nation journalist, served in Mombasa governor Hassan Joho's administration for seven years

In Summary
  • Thoya was first appointed as the County Executive in charge of Lands, before he was promoted to the position of County Secretary in Joho's government.
  • He left Joho's administration in February 2019 after he was appointed as a director for the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID).
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir during a briefing in Parliament on the issue of the container found at the port on December 21, 2021
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir during a briefing in Parliament on the issue of the container found at the port on December 21, 2021
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir has finally settled on former Nation journalist Francis Thoya as his running mate, the Star can confirm.

Thoya, who served in Mombasa governor Hassan Joho’s administration since 2013, left in February 2019 after he was appointed as a director for the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID).

He was overseeing UK-based activities along the Kenyan Coastline.

In 2013, when Joho got into office, Thoya was first appointed as the County Executive in charge of Lands, before he was promoted to the position of County Secretary.

As Joho was planning to defend his seat in the 2017 general election, Thoya was among the people who were being fronted to deputiseJoho.

Joho had fallen out with his first deputy governor Hazel Katana then.

Thoya was Joho's choice because is said to be a strong grassroots mobilizer.

However, he felt short-changed when Dr William Kingi, who was a lecturer at the Technical University of Mombasa, was picked at the last minute.

In February 2019, Thoya’s term as Mombasa County Secretary came to an end and Joab Tumbo, who was Joho’s chief of staff, was appointed in an acting capacity.

According to insiders, Nassir settled on a Mijikenda politician because they are the single largest voting bloc in Mombasa.

“Nassir has finally settled for Thoya, he will be unveiled tomorrow,” said an official, who is privy to the planning.

Francis Thoya with Governor Hassan Joho at Tamarind Hotel in 2017
Francis Thoya with Governor Hassan Joho at Tamarind Hotel in 2017
Image: FILE

An elaborate event to unveil Thoya will be held at Serani Sports Grounds.

Thoya was planning to run for Mombasa governor in this year’s election, but due to commitment at DFID, he had opted out.

He could not be reached for comment as calls made by the Star went unanswered.

Kingi, who is running for Mombasa governor on Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) ticket, last weekend sensationally claimed that he had been approached by Nassir to deputize him, but he turned him down.

He said out of the about 600,000 voters in Mombasa, the Mijikenda boast of over 260,000 registered voters, which makes them the single largest voting bloc.

“In the last election, Joho got slightly over 210,000 votes. If we Mijikenda community decides to vote for our own, we will usually win in Mombasa,” said Kingi.

He said the Mijikenda in Mombasa should not always be the running mates.

Apart from Thoya, at least three people had initially been fronted as possible running mates for Nassir.

He was said to have also settled on Barbara Ngome and Joab Tumbo.

However, in a phone interview with the Star, Tumbo had said he is not among those who are being fronted for the deputy governor position.

“I cannot discuss the issue of the running mate that is a preserve of the governor candidate in line with his manifesto,” said Tumbo.

Ngome, who works at the Mombasa governor Hassan Joho’s office, is also the current leader of the Governor’s Young Leaders Program (GYLP).

She is only 33 years old and has worked for Joho since he came into office in 2013.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star